The Daily Star

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

News of: Wednesday, 26th of December, 2007

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Artefacts returned to museum from ZIA

Around four days into the stealing of two Vishnu statues from the Zia International Airport (ZIA), the remainder of the 145 artefacts that had been awaiting shipment to Paris were brought back to the National Museum last evening.

New year braces for political quagmire

With no considerable progress in bringing reforms to political parties in the last one year, the two major parties, BNP and Awami League (AL), are issuing apparent threats of launching agitations to free their detained chiefs, as a harbinger of yet another political turmoil that might plague the country into the new year.

Int'l smuggling rackets might be involved

Investigators of the artefacts heist at Zia International Airport are yet to find any clues or motives even after 100 hours of the incident. Their impression is that it was a "deliberate" and "well-planned" take.

AL wings asked to get ready for agitation early next year

Awami League (AL) might go for agitation in January 2008 demanding release of its detained party president Sheikh Hasina prior to the next parliamentary elections.

Pro-Khaleda faction BNP focuses on her release before polls

The BNP's pro-Khaleda faction has shelved other issues for her release but reformists want to bring in unity in the party in the run-up to general elections that the Election Commission says will be held by December next year.

Govt decision to stop sending artefacts hailed

Archaeologists and eminent citizens who had been opposing sending the country's artefacts to an exhibition in France welcomed the government decision of cancelling any further shipment of the artefacts until the relic heist incidence is resolved.

Detained DU teachers might not be charged

The detained Dhaka University (DU) teachers might not be charged with assault on an army man and torching a military vehicle in the city's Shahbagh area on August 21.

Child cardiac patients' woes at NICVD

Ramzan, a nine-year-old admitted to the Paediatric Medicine Ward of National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD), gradually went into the jaws of death as his parents could not manage the money required for replacement of a valve of his heart.

Tigers' first ODI today

Zunaed Siddiqui will make his one-day international debut when Bangladesh play the first game of the three-match series against New Zealand at the Eden Park in Auckland today.

Over 200 Bangladeshi workers seek refuge at embassy in KL

More than 200 Bangladeshi migrant workers who claim their employers underpaid and abused them have sought refuge outside their country's embassy in Malaysia, an envoy said.

Girl dies, 500 shanties gutted in Ctg fire

A schoolgirl was burnt to death in a fire that also destroyed about 500 shanties and 19 shops at Amin Colony in Chittagong early yesterday, leaving hundreds of residents homeless.

Hasina's trial resumes today

The trial of detained former prime minister Sheikh Hasina and two others in a Tk 2.99-crore extortion case resumes at a makeshift court today, several days after a legal wrangle over relocating the court to try a particular case.

Fog disrupts ferry service

Ferry services on Daulatdia-Paturia route were disrupted for about five hours yesterday due to poor visibility caused by dense fog.

Power shortfall to take heavy toll on farmers in North

Farmers of 16 northern districts will have to pay around Tk 500 crore extra in fuel cost for irrigation purpose in this Boro season due to a possible shortfall in electricity supply between December 2007 and May 2008.

Suicide bombers kill 29 in Iraq

Two suicide bombings killed 29 people in Iraq on Tuesday, including 25 who died when a bomber slammed his vehicle into a truck carrying gas cylinders at an Iraqi army checkpoint near Baiji.

Anxious wife and a happy ending

The night of December 7, 2007 turned out to be the most memorable night of all in the lives of Noor Islam and his wife Anwara Parveen.

Christmas celebrated

Christmas was celebrated across the country yesterday with pledges to assist the victims of Cyclone Sidr and to work for peace and humanity following the ideals of Jesus Christ.

Human chain in Ctg to protest theft of artefacts

Cultural activists here yesterday formed a human chain protesting theft of two artefacts from Zia International Airport (ZIA).

Woman tortured to death by husband

A housewife was tortured to death allegedly by her husband and in-laws for failing to provide dowry at Uttar Khan in the capital Monday.

Autorickshaw driver stabbed to death by muggers

A CNG-run auto-rickshaw driver and a bus helper were murdered in the city yesterday.

Court asks for health report of Khulna mayor

A Khulna court asked the jail authorities Monday to provide it with the latest health report of Shaikh Tayebur Rahman, detained mayor of Khulna City Corporation, by January 10 after he complained of ill health.

Fire damages rubber goods factory

Fire at a rubber sandal factory in the city's Rayerbagh area under Demra Police Station yesterday gutted machinery and other valuables worth about Tk 15 lakh.

Thaksin vows to return in Feb

Deposed Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra said yesterday he wanted to return to Thailand in February, as he called for reconciliation with the military following weekend elections.

Turkey hits 200 rebel Kurd targets

Turkish airstrikes and artillery have hit more than 200 Kurdish rebel targets in the mountains of northern Iraq since Dec. 16, killing hundreds of insurgents, the military said Tuesday.


Rights of the disabled trifled with

IN the absence of any government census on the disabled children in the country their number is put between 1.6 and 2.6 million in varying estimates. The total number of the retarded, however, has been estimated by NGOs to be at least 10 percent of the population.

From Hindu kingdom to secular republic

NEPAL'S monarchy is finally set to make an exit. The decision by the country's major political parties to do away with it, in line with the long-standing demand of the people, most vigorously articulated by Maoists, is a development that cannot but satisfy the Nepalese population and people of the Saarc region as a whole. That sense of satisfaction of course has to do with some recent actions of King Gyanendra himself. Since taking charge of the throne following the murder of his brother, King Birendra and his family, in 2001, Gyanendra has not exactly endeared himself to the people of Nepal. But it was his seizure of absolute power, through which he sought to impose grave restrictions on politics, that proved to be the last straw. In the end, popular discontent made the monarch eat humble pie.

The case of the missing Vishnus . . . and more

NOW that the scandal of the stolen artefacts has come to pass, there are some heads which need to roll. Let there be no question here of who is to blame and who ought to be hauled in for questioning. When Adviser Ayub Quadri acknowledged in so many words that he bore responsibility for the theft of the two Vishnu artefacts from the cargo space at the Zia International Airport the other day, he, in effect, admitted before the country that it was a sloppy job that people under his supervision had done.

Preventing a dangerous arms race

AMONG the many dubious ideas that former United States President Ronald Reagan embraced, two were particularly dangerous. The first was that "a limited nuclear war" with the Soviet Union could be fought and won. The second held that the US could reliably secure itself against nuclear weapons by building a Star Wars-style ballistic missile defence (BMD).

Civil society in Bangladesh: Rhetoric and reality

In the wake of Ershad's fall there was growing clamour for civil society, which gradually became louder in those days. Perhaps the bitter memory of protracted military rule, with its concomitant curtailment of basic rights, provided an incentive to civil society messiahs to articulate their demand. Yet, expressions like "civil norm" in our administration, "more civility" in the governance, and a vow for the firm founding of a "civil society" as voiced in some of the civil-military discourses rang an optimistic note for the nation's progress.


Tigers raring to go

Bangladesh's confidence-boosting victory in the Twenty20 fundraiser against a strong New Zealand XI at Hamilton has given a totally fresh complexion to tomorrow's opening ODI of the three-match series. As the Tigers practiced at Eden Park on an eerily quiet Christmas morning many scurried for tickets only to get disappointed.

Bowlers ready: Ponting

Skipper Ricky Ponting is certain the Australian bowling attack still pack a punch in the post-Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath era and will prove it against India in the Boxing Day Test.

Cloud over Gayle

Captain Chris Gayle remained a doubtful starter two days ahead of the first Test against South Africa as he continued to struggle to overcome a hamstring injury.

Rest of the Test team after today's match

The national selectors will decide who will join the Bangladesh Test team in New Zealand after today's first one-day international of the three-match series in Auckland is over.

ICL wants 40m rupees from Yousuf

Indian Cricket League (ICL) Tuesday filed a statement of claims before the arbiter, seeking damages of 4 crore rupees from Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Yousuf for alleged breach of contract.

Chasing Australia

By the end of a year where Australia continued to remain supreme as the leading Test and one-day side it was easy to think little had changed in world cricket.

'It depends on the pitch'

India are considering playing two spinners to capitalise on their batting depth to pressure Australia in Wednesday's opening match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, skipper Anil Kumble said Tuesday.

Anderson chasing MU dream

Brazilian midfielder Anderson says he is happy to spend the chilly festive period playing football - and not relaxing on Copacabana beach - as he pursues his dream of making history with Manchester United.

'Indians won't enjoy Tait'

Considering that the Indian batsmen don't really relish fast bowling, Australia should pick Shaun Tait ahead of Brad Hogg and unleash a four-pronged pace attack to knock down the visitors, advocates Michael Kasprowicz.

Fulham caretaker keen on job

Fulham caretaker boss Ray Lewington has insisted the club's search for a new manager will not hinder his bid to steer the Cottagers through the notoriously busy Christmas period.

British minister in Dhaka

British Aviation Minister Jim Fitzpatrick, MP, arrived in Dhaka yesterday on a six-day personal visit to promote a youth football development programme.

Arsenal look to stay clear

Arsene Wenger is already counting down the days until the end of the season as Arsenal try to hold onto their position on top of the Premier League.

A year of extremes

Just as it was over the previous 12 months, it has been a year of extremes in Italy.

Cech injury not serious

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech escaped serious injury and suffered just bruising to his hip when he limped out of the 1-0 win over Blackburn on Sunday.

Adriano can't stop partying

Brazilian striker Adriano, who last week promised to turn over a new leaf and get his career back on the rails, has landed in fresh controversy after being photographed at a pop concert holding a can of beer.

Wenger rules out new recruits

Arsene Wenger is planning to ignore the January sales because he believes Arsenal have enough strength in depth to last the pace in the Premier League title race.

Osim goes into rehab

Former Japan coach Ivica Osim has moved out of a hospital intensive care unit to start rehabilitation about five weeks after a major stroke that cost him his job, a football official said Tuesday.

Maradona wants to meet Ahmadinejad

Former Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona says he wants to meet Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a leading U.S. foe, local media reported on Monday.


80 firms' shares being traded below face value on DSE

Shares of some 80 listed companies are being traded below their face value on the country's premier bourse.

S'pore residential market world's hottest

Singapore's booming housing market is the world's hottest this year, with local home prices recording the fastest increase.

Tanners eye quality rawhide on good weather condition

Tanners are hopeful that they will receive quality rawhide of cattle during this season after Eid-ul-Azha mainly due to favourable weather condition.

Unpaid credit cards bedevil Americans

Americans are falling behind on their credit card payments at an alarming rate, sending delinquencies and defaults surging by double-digit percentages in the last year and prompting warnings of worse to come.

India scraps wheat import tender on high prices

Indian government has asked the State Trading Corporation (STC) to scrap its wheat import tender due to high prices, local newspaper Business Standard reported on Tuesday.

Dollar stays firm in Asia after Merrill infusion

The dollar stayed firm in Asian trade Tuesday as investors welcomed a large cash infusion into Merrill Lynch amid the subprime mortgage woes, dealers said.

Last-minute buyers give US retailers relief

Just weeks ago, the holiday shopping season seemed headed for disaster. But in the waning hours before Christmas, the nation's retailers got their wish a last-minute surge of shopping that helped meet their modest sales goals, according to data released late Monday by research firm ShopperTrak RCT Corp.

China becomes Argentina's top source of RMG imports

China has replaced Brazil as Argentina's largest source of garment imports this year, according to a report issued by Argentina's Industry Economy Institute on Monday.

Toyota sees bright future as world No1

Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. on Tuesday predicted further robust growth in 2008 after racing past US rival General Motors this year to become the world's top producing automaker.

Rajshahi int'l trade fair kicks off

A month-long international trade fair began in Rajshahi city yesterday in a bid to promote local products at home and abroad and establish a link between the local and foreign entrepreneurs.

Yuan climbs to new high against USD

China's Renminbi (RMB) climbed 54 basis points to break the 7.33 mark on Tuesday, with the central parity rate at 7.3261 yuan against one US dollar, according to the Chinese Foreign Exchange Trading System.

Pound hits all-time low against euro

The British pound hit record lows against the euro on Monday for the second straight day, weighed down by falling home prices and expectations that the Bank of England will keep cutting interest rates.

Japan's DoCoMo to tie up with Google

Japan's leading mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo Inc., trying to fight off resurgent competitors, will tie up with US search-engine giant Google Inc. to upgrade its services, a report said Tuesday.

Vietnam adopts new regulation on stock investors

Beginning March 2008, stock investors in Vietnam must deposit their cash at commercial banks, instead of securities companies as currently, according to local newspaper Vietnam News on Tuesday.

Russia to hike oil export duty by 21pc

Russia will raise duties on oil exports to around 333 dollars per tonne from February 1, a 21 percent hike, a finance ministry official was quoted as saying Tuesday.


Uncertainty looms large over Duta election

Uncertainty looms large over the election of Dhaka University Teachers' Association (Duta) scheduled for December 31, as no teachers agreed to act as election commissioner.

Road crashes kill 5, injure 26

At least five people were killed and 26 injured in separate road accidents in Netrakona, Sirajganj and Chuadanga yesterday and on Monday.

Come to aid of cyclone victims

Bikalpa Dhara President AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury yesterday urged all politicians to come forward in aid of the Sidr-affected people as the main objective of politics is to serve the people.

Bangladeshi peacekeepers playing important role for global peace

Bangladeshi peacekeepers have been playing an important role in establishing global peace and restoring stability in conflict-ridden regions, Foreign Adviser Iftekhar A Chowdhury said yesterday.

FFs were not honoured properly in last 36 yrs

Freedom fighters are the best sons of the nation, but they were not honoured properly in the last 36 years since independence, Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal SM Ziaur Rahman said.

Taslima welcome in Bengal but Centre must ensure security

Towing a slightly different line, Marxist patriarch Jyoti Basu on Tuesday said controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen can return here if she chooses to, but the Centre will have to ensure her security.

Underprivileged children should get all sorts of facilities

LGRD Adviser Anwarul Iqbal yesterday said it is our moral responsibility to help children grow up as worthy citizens of the country.

Mymensingh Girls' Cadet College becomes champion

Mymensingh Girls' Cadet College team became champion while Scholastica runner-up in the 7th National Television English Parliamentary Debate Competition, says a press release.

Theft of two Vishnu statues protested

Jatiya Mukti Council has strongly criticised the government for taking the decision to send archaeological artefacts to France ignoring the people's opinion and their protest.

Bangladesh to return to democracy soon Hopes Indian High Commissioner

India hopes that Bangladesh would return to democracy soon to reach the heights of success with correct leadership, said Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty yesterday.

Ispahani Golden Ticket Offer

Sakander of Muradpur, Chittagong has won Tk 1 lakh in the Golden Ticket Offer, a promotional programme of Ispahani Tea, says a press release.

Shishu Kishore Ananda Mela

Central Kachi-Kanchar Mela will organise a drawing, reciting and science writing competition for the children, aged under 15, on January 2-4 in 2008 on the occasion of Shishu Kishore Ananda Mela, says a press release.

Barrister Roushan Ali passes away

Barrister Md Roushan Ali, a senior advocate of Bangladesh Supreme Court, passed away due to a cardiac arrest in Makkah while performing hajj on last Friday at the age of 76, says a press release.

Imamul Islam Latifi

Veteran journalist and freedom fighter Imamul Islam Latifi passed away due to a prolonged illness at his village home at Mirersarai in the district yesterday at the age of 68.

Nizam Uddin

Language Movement veteran and freedom fighter Nizam Uddin passed away at United Hospital in the city on Monday night at the age of 71, says a press release.

Alhaj Mosuddar Ali

Alhaj Mosuddar Ali, former teacher of Moulvibazar Government High School and district education officer, died of old-age complications at his residence on Sunday at the age of 85.

Body of youth burned after murder

An unidentified youth was murdered by unknown assailants in the city in the early hours of yesterday.


Crimes decline in 10 southwestern dists

Crimes including murder, extortion and abduction declined in November compared to the previous month in ten southwestern districts, known as crime prone areas.

Tk 17cr customs duty, VAT unrealised

Licences of 79 clearing and forwarding agents (C&F) out of 105 at Burimari land port has been 'suspended' for non-payment of customs duty.

71 clinics out of 96 in CHT illegal

Seventy-one clinics are operating illegally in 25 upazillas in three hill districts.

Asma was killed for dowry

Benapole port police yesterday turned the Asma suicide case into a murder case as the autopsy report said she was strangled.

Surma erosion displaces 100 families in three days

Over 100 families were displaced in Kanaighat in three days due to massive erosion by Surma river.

Zainul's birth anniversary begins in Mymensingh tomorrow

A three-day programme will begin here tomorrow observance of the 93rd birth anniversary of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin.

New body formed to rehabilitate FFs

A new organisation has been floated at Moheshpur aiming at rehabilitating destitute and maimed freedom fighters.

Trawler sinks with relief goods

A relief materials-loaded trawler sank in the Bhadra river in Dakop upazila on Monday.

6 journos get Mymensingh Press Club Award

Mymensingh Press Club yesterday awarded the 'Best Reporter of the Year Award' to six journalists for the years 2005-'06.

Chandpur Mohila College ex-students' re-union held

The first re-union of former students of Chandpur Government Mohila College was held on the college campus yesterday.


US and Middle East

It is very interesting to note that President Bush, all of a sudden, has started walking anti-clockwise. A hawk who never knew anything besides war and war of words suddenly turns into a peace-broker! This move, however, raises some doubts among the critics. Is this a groundwork for initiating another war in the Middle East? Is this the preparation of Israel and the US for the so-called pre-emptive aerial attack on Iran's nuclear sites? The fear remains high. It would be interesting to examine the following issues.

CNG filling stations

While the government policy is to maximise the use of CNG for motorised transports like buses, trucks, taxis, auto-rickshaws and private cars, the numbers of CNG filling stations are few and far between. Long queues in filling stations for CNG is a major factor discouraging people from CNG conversion of their vehicles!

Let the poor smile

Every Eid brings two types of feelings. The people who are well to do enjoy Eid in a truly festive mood. Preparation for the Eid goes on for a long time. On the other hand a gloomy, dismal situation is seen in the huts of the poor who pass their days throughout the year half fed/unfed. This situation made one of the philanthropists (a retired chairman of a sector corporation) of our village to do something for the poor that would make them enjoy Eid with rich foods like others in the village and thus making them feel that Eid comes to their doors also. With that idea in mind, the above-mentioned benevolent man came in to help the poor of our village, Balia, Hajigonj, on Eid day. The first step was collecting the numbers and names of the poor families of the village and then making packets containing shemai, sugar, milk, fine rice, mugdal, oil and in separate packets saree & lungi. These packets were distributed among the people listed earlier. Holding the packets they went home smiling.

Guns of America

I am writing with reference to "Guns in America again (and again)," by Prof. Charles R. Larson (Dec, 24).

Registration of parties

I would welcome the Chief Election Commissioner's remark about political party registration. Political leaders talk about democracy but they did not practise it. Intra-party democracy is very important for strengthening the whole process, but it is absent in the parties.

Eid and people in distress

The Eid-ul-Azha was celebrated much the same way it is every year. The rich enjoyed every bit of the occasion, while the poor observed the show of pomp.

Stop wasting electricity

The article by your columnist Mr. A.N.M. Nurul Haque "Need for national austerity" was a timely one.

An appeal to Chief Adviser

It is proved that your government is doing a tremendous jobs to uproot corruption, but I would request you to pay a bit more attention to a case named “Extortion by unknown phone callers” which hasn't been stopped yet. Lots of people like me, who live abroad, are always worried about their families back home, because our families are threatened by the extortionists every day. They know that we are able to give them what they want. But why should we give them the money which we have earned by selling our blood? The question arises, is there anyone to stop them? Yes, the government can do that. But we are unfortunate enough till today as nothing has been done to rein in those hoodlums.

Arms haul case

The news of the haul of 10 truckloads of sophisticated firearms in Chittagong on 2nd April 2004 is still fresh in my mind. This incident had been the talk of the country for many days, I remember. Undoubtedly, this was the biggest arms haul in the history of our country.

Why this fear?

I was spending the summer of 1979 with my sister in Massachusetts for a break from my college. My brother-in-law suggested that we go to New York museum to watch something special. At first I wasn't very enthusiastic. Boy! Was I for a treat?

Look into it

A new rule has been enforced for the link road “Gulshan-1 to Mohakhali”; there is restriction on rickshaw from 9:00am to 9:00pm. What about the general office going people? What about the female workers? You will not get any rickshaw if it is even near to 9:00am because they have to get back to Mohakhali before 9:00am. In this situation the general people are suffering in the morning as well in the evening.

Road in bad shape

Much has been said and written about the dilapidated condition of the Habiganj to Hiala and Hiala to Sujatpur road via Ikram, during the last three decades.

US assistance

Last week in your op-ed, Ms. Geeta Pasi wrote with the above heading on the commitment of the USA and its people to standing by the people of Bangladesh all the time. It surely is appreciated with the immediate reaction of the USA to send the Marines to assist our hurricane-affected people. The immediate need of those people is always fresh water and we had seen that after the 1991 natural disaster the US marines undertook 'Operation Sea Angel', doing an excellent job delivering purified water, foods and medicines. At that time the Marines did a great job and were highly appreciated although when they first arrived there was a lot of hesitation and suspicion as it is now. I personally feel they should be welcomed (as I did back in 1991) and appreciated for their humanitarian duty but of course it should be all very transparent.

“Bottomless basket”

I have read the very perspicacious writing of the WFP Country Director under the above heading published on 15 December.

Cricketers do it, again

The Tigers' triumph over the Kiwis has once again proved that in the shortest version of the game we really have a chance!

Community radio

A campaign has been going on in the country for the past several years to introduce a new type of broadcasting media, which is widely known as community radio, but it has so far met with cold shoulders from policy level people for no justified reason, except only for fear of loosening their grips over local matters and their monstrous power undercut. But it has been proved that there is a lot of central level inadequacy to cope with local matters such as education, natural disaster, cultural life and many other issues. The need for people to share their views and concerns through a local media and policy makers listening to their voices is becoming a crying need.


Top Thai parties jockey for power

Thailand's leading parties wooed possible partners for a coalition government on Monday, a day after allies of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra came out on top in the country's first election since he was ousted in a September 2006 military coup.

Leaders urge peace as Christmas celebrated

Pope Benedict XVI lamented the "grim sound of arms" in the world's conflict zones Tuesday in a message of peace echoed by other Christian leaders as they celebrated Christmas.

US roadways improve after deadly storm

Sunny conditions on Monday helped road crews deal with the remnants of a blustery snowstorm that blacked out thousands of homes and businesses and was blamed for at least 22 traffic deaths in the upper Midwest.

Turkish planes strike inside Iraq

Turkish warplanes bombed three villages inside Iraq on Tuesday, targeting rebel bases in the Kurdish province of Dohuk, an official from the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga security force said.

13 Tigers killed in heavy fighting

At least 13 Tamil Tiger rebels were killed on Christmas Eve in heavy clashes with Sri Lankan security forces in northern Sri Lanka, the defence ministry said Tuesday.

Thai coup leader vows to keep up Thaksin graft probes

General Sonthi Boonyaratglin, who led the coup against Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra last year, vowed Tuesday to press ahead with corruption probes against him even if his allies form the next government.

Iran plans to build 19 more nuclear power plants

Iran plans to build 19 more nuclear power plants and will soon solicit international bids for their construction, a lawmaker said.

N Korea likely to miss yr-end deadline: China

China said yesterday that North Korea was unlikely to meet a year-end deadline to disable and declare all of its nuclear programmes, although the "majority" of work will be finished.

Afghanistan orders UN, EU officials to leave

Afghanistan has ordered a top European Union official and a United Nations staffer to leave the country for threatening national security, government and diplomatic officials said Tuesday.

Modi takes oath as Gujarat CM for 3rd term

Narendra Modi, who led his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to a historic third consecutive victory in Gujarat, was on Tuesday sworn in as chief minister for the third time at a grand ceremony here.

Indian forces kill 3 militants holed up in Kashmir mosque

Indian forces killed three suspected Islamic militants holed up in a mosque in Indian-controlled Kashmir, ending a two-day hostage standoff and sparking angry protests that injured dozens of people, police said yesterday.

China, India end military exercises

China and India wrapped up their first-ever joint military exercises on Tuesday with a drill in which they "wiped out" a group of supposed terrorists along their border, state press reported.

11 die, hundreds go missing after bridge collapses in Nepal

At least 11 people died and hundreds on a religious pilgrimage were missing after an overcrowded bridge collapsed in western Nepal yesterday, police and officials said.

Hamas releases senior Fatah sympathizer

The Hamas government has released the former director of Gaza's electric company, officials announced yesterday, six months after arresting him in a crackdown on political rivals in the wake of the Islamic militant group's takeover of the area.

14 sailors missing in S Korean waters

Fourteen sailors aboard a ship carrying nitric acid were missing Tuesday after their vessel was thought to have sunk in South Korea's southern waters. One survivor was taken to a hospital.

Assassins attack Somali police chief

Gunmen threw grenades at the home of the regional police chief in southwestern Somalia, killing two of his grandchildren and a bodyguard but not their target, authorities said yesterday.

Police stop would-be bomber in Istanbul

Turkish police thwarted a bomb attack in Istanbul on Monday, arresting a 25-year-old man with explosives in his backpack outside a subway station, the city's governor said.

Kenya opposition leader confident of victory

Kenya's main opposition candidate said on Tuesday he was confident of victory in closely-fought presidential elections this week, saying he believed Kenyans would "vote for change".

Egypt rejects Israeli criticism on arms smuggling

Egypt on Tuesday rejected Israeli criticism of its efforts to clamp down on arms smuggling into Gaza, also announcing the discovery of two tunnels a day before a visit by Israel's defence minister.

Record Russian arms sales in 2007: Dy PM

Russian arms exports were worth a record seven billion dollars (5.5 billion euros) this year, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said Monday.

Sri Lanka floods subside, 40,000 in temporary shelters

Sri Lanka's monsoon floods were subsiding but just over 40,000 people remained in temporary shelters, the disaster management centre said yesterday.

Uzbek hardline leader re-elected in landslide

Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov won another landslide victory, election officials said Monday, but former Soviet states and Western observers were split over whether the vote had been fair.

Afghan cuts off wife's nose, ear

An Afghan woman is in hospital after her nose and an ear were cut off, allegedly by her husband, police and a doctor said yesterday.

Quake shakes Russian east coast

An earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale shook Russia's Kamtchatka peninsula on the Pacific coast overnight Monday without causing casualties or damage, a news agency reported.

Arts & Entertainment

Images of Sidr devastation

The recent exhibition of documentary photographs by Bayazid Akter at the Goethe-Institut was indeed passion-driven and bold. Akter travelled to the Sidr-affected areas in Southern Bangladesh, and depicted havoc and unmitigated lament over the recent cruel cyclone that swept over the country with merciless speed and ferocity. The wind and rain that ruined Bangladesh as a consequence, ripping houses, destroying crops, and killing men, beasts and birds are caught with marvellous depth of perception, and ingenuity through Akter's lens.

Three-day long street theatre festival in Tangail

A three-day long street theatre festival, on the occasion of the International Anti-Corruption Day (December 9), concluded in Tangail town recently.

New auditorium for Dinajpur Shilpakala Academy

Dinajpur Shipakala Academy, a state run cultural organisation in Dinajpur, is readying its first floor and a full-fledged cultural auditorium at the institution complex. This step is a fall-out of a shortage of accommodation, according to sources.

Satellite TV channel Rtv's second anniversary

On the second anniversary of satellite TV channel Rtv, an array of special programmes will be aired on December 26. The programme includes a children's show, a musical programme, a special play and talk shows.

“Dushtu Meye” today on Channel i

Channel i will air TV play Dushtu Meye today at 10:30 am. Written by Nazneen Rahman, the play is directed by chief cameraman of Channel i, Zubaed Hossain Tufan.


Thoughts on the past 36 years

As we enter the 37th year of our independence, my mind races back to memories both bitter and sweet. I lost a brother, Shaheed Munier Chowdhury, one of the most illustrious sons of the soil, only 48 hours before we gained our independence. Although I feel occasionally bitter and sad, I must say I am no longer haunted by it. After all, 36 years have passed by and I have seen bigger tragedies taking place on this very independent soil. Human rights and justice continue to be accessible to a selected few, and as elusive as ever before to most. Economists are busy producing lofty statistics, whereas the poor continue to struggle for mere survival.

Brokers not welcome

I often see the phrases "no brokers please" or "brokers not welcome" appearing in certain "for sale" advertisements while browsing the classified section of our local newspapers. For example, just the other day, I noticed an advertisement (boxed space) in a local daily where an individual was trying to sell xxx decimal industrial land located in Gazipur. The data within the space contained a brief description of the property, contact information of the seller, an asking price of Tk yyy, and the phrase "no brokers please."

Protecting Saint Martin

SAINT Martin has undoubtedly added beauty to tourism in Bangladesh. It has also brought variety in our environmental balance. Corals and coral reefs are its chief attraction.

CMAG and Pakistan

THE Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group's (CMAG) past record of dealing with Pakistan has been notoriously indecisive and often riddled with miscalculations. In 1999, CMAG suspended Pakistan from the Councils of the Commonwealth, only to re-admit it in 2004 when General Musharraf became a favourite in the so-called "war against terror." From 2004 until only last month, CMAG continued to naively tolerate Mr. Musharraf despite warnings from civil society groups, who, in the end, have been shown to be correct.

Star City

Struggle on for a piece of land

With over 14,000 memorabilia, the Liberation War Museum, country's lone museum focusing on the Liberation War, is unable to display its huge collection due to shortage of space.

Move for DU math bldg in limbo

The foundation that offered funds for the planned 10-storey Mathematics Building of Dhaka University has requested the university authorities to find an alternative site instead of the chosen one close to the Central Shaheed Minar.

Waning winter chills hopes of quilt makers

Light chill in the air, gentle sunlight in the afternoon and the thin layer of fog at dusk are the evident signs that winter has finally set in.

Star Chittagong

Agyan Party activities on rise in port city

Activities of Agyan Party, a gang of criminals who drug people before mugging them, marked an alarming rise in the port city despite tight security measures by the law enforcement agencies during the last few months.

Mobile blood bank to fight anaemia, malaria

The army organised a programme titled “Mobile blood bank programme” at Matiranga Degree College to fight anaemia and malaria that frequently take lives at Matiranga upazila in Chittagong Hill Tracts.

The Daily Star

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